Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If I live in Canada and have an infant car seat approved in Canada, can I legally use that car seat when traveling in the US? I will be traveling by plane and getting a rental car at my US destination.

I see that car seat laws differ by state. How will this affect me?

Edits: The car seat has the CMVSS/NSVAC sticker on it (transport Canada cross border shopping) and does not appear to have a US sticker on it. The car seat's manual states that it meets US FMVSS 213. The car seat in question is the Evenflo Symphony 65 DLX though the question was intended to be more general than this specific seat.

share|improve this question
clekinc.com/pdfs/clek_safety_seat_law_guide_EN.pdf may be of interest. If does not cover your situation maybe add something more specific to your question? –  pnuts Jun 24 at 21:03
That does provide useful information but the question is intended to be about whether it is legal to use a Canadian car seat in the US. I know that a US car seat can be seized at the border if brought in to Canada, for example. Bringing Consumer Goods Into Canada –  mbaryu Jun 24 at 23:10
So it may be relevant to know exactly what seat you have in mind. Apparently Nevada law requires "approved by the United States Department of Transportation in accordance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set forth in 49 C.F.R. Part 571" but bought in Canada does not rule out such compliance. –  pnuts Jun 24 at 23:23
Have you carefully read all the labels on your existing seat? It may be approved for use in the US already. Perhaps add a picture of the labels. –  Kate Gregory Jun 25 at 13:05

1 Answer 1

I know this might not be an answer exactly, but I can't leave a comment:

We have taken US car seats to Canada (by car), Mexico and Europe (Denmark) for our kids. We have not have any questioning about them at the border, not even in Canada when the kids were in them. I have not have any one stop and check the seats there. In Denmark we used a private car though, not a rental.

I have been pulled over by the police once with kids in the car seats here in the US, and they didn't as much as look at the car seats, if they were legal or properly installed - they just ticked the minor traffic infraction committed.

I know this is anecdotal, but I think as long as the kid is in a car seat appropriate for the child's age, you will not run into trouble. Be sure to note whether the state you travel to have rules regarding forward vs. rear facing for certain ages, and when the kid can move from a 5-point to a booster.

share|improve this answer
Very sensible but OP is arriving by 'plane so risk of confiscation would seem to be greater when potentially offending item is not under a sitting tenant - though ten times as much as zero is still zero. –  pnuts Jun 26 at 1:17
I don't think that inspection is more likely at an airport - it is not a commercial good transported with intend to sell (I assume other rules come into play). Why would the custom officers care about the intended use for duration? They are not traffic cops, they probably don't even know the certifications needed. Again, anecdotal - I never had anyone look specifically at car seats at customs. –  Ida Jun 26 at 17:31
But it seems they do/might in Canada "I know that a US car seat can be seized at the border if brought in to Canada". –  pnuts Jun 26 at 17:33
Point taken - that page seems to cover things that intend to stay in Canada - will they really seize a car seat at the border if I don't bring the manual, in French AND English? –  Ida Jun 26 at 17:41
I think the Q is more about “can they” (ie the legality) than “will they” (custom and practice). Seems to be a case of “Yes they can though No they won’t” but in this context the former having priority. –  pnuts Jun 26 at 18:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.